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PRECIOUS-Silver slips from 8-year peak as investors book profits

    Feb 2 (Reuters) - Silver prices fell more than 2% on Tuesday
as investors booked profits following a rally of as much as
11.2% to a near eight-year peak in the previous session.
    
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Spot silver        was down 1.7% to $28.48 an ounce by
0039 GMT, having hit $30.03 on Monday, its highest since
February 2013.
    * Silver prices rocketed as retail investors, egged on by
messages on Reddit, pile into the market in an attempt to push
up prices.             
    * The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is
"closely monitoring" recent activity in silver markets, the
agency's acting chairman said on Monday, as last week's
volatility in securities markets spilled into trading of the
precious metal.             
    * CME Group Inc         on Monday raised Comex 5000 Silver
Futures margins by 17.9% to $16,500 per contract from $14,000
for February.                         
    * The retail investment frenzy in silver has left dealers
from the United States to Singapore scrambling for bars and
coins to meet demand.             
    * Spot gold        eased 0.2% to $1,856.86 per ounce. U.S.
gold futures        shed 0.3% to $1,858.60.
    * Top Democrats in the U.S. Senate and House of
Representatives filed a joint $1.9 trillion budget measure on
Monday, in a step toward bypassing Republicans on COVID-19
relief before President Joe Biden met with Republican
senators.            
    * India slashed import duties on gold and silver on Monday
in a surprise move that industry officials say could boost
retail demand and curtail smuggling.             
    * China's gold consumption fell by almost a fifth in 2020,
the China Gold Association said on Monday.             
    * Platinum        declined 1.4% at $1,111.80 and palladium
       shed 0.3% to $2,239.03.
    
DATA/EVENTS AHEAD (GMT)
0700  UK      Nationwide house price    Jan
0745  France  CPI (EU Norm) Prelim YY   Jan
1000  EU      GDP Flash Prelim QQ, YY   Q4
1200  Brazil  Industrial Ouput MM, YY   Dec

 (Reporting by Sumita Layek in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna
Chandra Eluri)
  
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